Bone Densitometry (BMD)

 

Bone Densitometry, also known as Dual-Energy X-ray Absorption or DEXA, is a form of medical imaging technology which uses small amounts of radiation to determine bone density.

Bone Densitometry is a painless test to help your doctor diagnose osteoporosis or to determine whether certain steps should be taken to protect your bone health. The results from your DEXA exam will be compared with the peak bone mass of the average healthy same sex adult. A bone densitometry exam can help to diagnose bone loss at an early stage.

Your doctor will be able to give you additional details about the exam, but a general idea of what to expect is provided below.

Preparation

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant. Your doctor may decide whether to postpone the exam.

Let your doctor know if you have recently had a barium exam or have been injected with a contrast medium for a CT or radioisotope scan. Your doctor may wish to postpone a DEXA test for 5 - 7 days.

You may eat normally on the day of your exam. You should avoid taking calcium supplements for at least 24 hours prior to your exam.

You will be asked to remove any body piercings (if any) or other metal or electronic objects from your body before the exam as these objects interfere with the quality of the images.

Exam

The DEXA bone density exam typically takes 15 - 20 minutes to complete depending on the part of your body being examined and the type of equipment used.

Our technologist will prepare and guide you by explaining the procedure, assisting in removal of clothing or piercings (if any) and positioning you to ensure the highest quality images are obtained from your exam.

The technologist performs the exam and can always see and hear you. The technologist may ask and assist you with changing positions in order to obtain images from multiple areas of interest.

Result

When your exam is complete you may leave and resume regular activities.

A radiologist will review your exam images and report the findings to your doctor. Your doctor will then discuss the findings and next steps with you.